Relativistic Nonlinear Optics

Donald Umstadter, Scott Sepke, Shouyuan Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


The physics and applications of a new field of optics, involving the nonlinear interactions of ultra-intense light with matter, are discussed. They are characterized by many familiar nonlinear optical effects, such as self-focusing and harmonic generation, but based on a mechanism that became accessible experimentally only relatively recently, namely, the nonlinear motion of unbound electrons oscillating relativistically in strong electromagnetic fields. These phenomena form the basis of a new generation of compact and ultrashort-duration particle accelerators and X-ray light sources, with applications ranging from nuclear fusion to cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
EditorsP.R. Berman, C.C. Lin
Number of pages59
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2005

Publication series

NameAdvances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
ISSN (Print)1049-250X


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

Umstadter, D., Sepke, S., & Chen, S. (2005). Relativistic Nonlinear Optics. In P. R. Berman, & C. C. Lin (Eds.), Advances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (pp. 331-389). (Advances in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics; Vol. 52).